Who are Parly and Darrieussecq?

Florence Parly, France’s new Minister of the Armed Forces

A female minister of the armed forces replaces another. Florence Parly, 54, a member of the Socialist Party (PS), was appointed France’s Minister of the Armed Forces this evening in the cabinet reshuffle following the legislative elections last Sunday and the resignation of Sylvie Goulard who only held this post for 33 days.

A former secretary of state for the budget in the government of Lionel Jospin between 2000 and 2002, Parly thus rejoins a government 15 years later and only 13 months after taking office as general manager of SNCF Voyageurs. Previously she had spent 18 months in charge of the strategy and finances of the public railway group. Between 2008 and 2014, she was the deputy general manager of Air France.

Parly is a senior civil servant, a 1985 graduate of France’s prestigious National School for Administration (ENA). She joined the PS in 1995, was a losing candidate in the legislative elections in the Yonne department in 2002, and was then vice-president of the regional council of Burgundy from 2004 to 2006. At which point she left politics to join Air France.

Geneviève Darrieussecq

She will be assisted by Geneviève Darrieussecq, 61, who has been appointed Secretary of State to the Minister of the Armed Forces. She was elected as a deputy under the double label MoDem/République en Marche in the Landes region last Sunday and will not be able to continue to hold the position of mayor of Mont-de-Marsan that she has occupied since March 2008. This doctor, an allergy specialist, will also give up her seat in the parliament to her substitute, Fabien Lainé, mayor of Sanguinet.

Darrieussecq will bring her knowledge of the military to Parly because Mont-de-Marsan is best known for its BA-118 airbase, one of the most important in France and the home base of the Rafale fighter aircraft fleet.